If you’re an Honors student at the College of Social Work, you may have more than just books in your backpack these days. This semester, junior honors students received iPads as part of a pilot project funded by a technology seed grant. The goals of the program are to provide students with the necessary skills to integrate technology into research and professional practice.
“Think about how technology has already changed how we learn, how we teach, and how we practice social work, and then think about what could be possible in the next five years,” says Jennie Babcock, Undergraduate Studies Director at the college. “We want to teach students to apply technology in innovative ways that will lead to visionary research, practice, and leadership in social work.”
The Honors Program in the College of Social Work is designed to meet the needs of social work students with outstanding academic ability and to promote scholarly development throughout their college careers. The Social Work Honors Program consists of enrollment in three honors research courses and engagement in 1:1 work with a faculty member to develop an individual research project. Successful completion of the undergraduate thesis earns students the designation of graduation "With Honors Research Distinction in Social Work.”
This new initiative involving honors students goes hand-in-hand with the college’s overall learning technology project, part of the university’s Digital First plan. In February 2012, iPads and collaborative training sessions through Digital First were provided to faculty and staff college-wide, with a goal of enhancing teaching, research, productivity, and practice. Cultural and pedagogical changes were immediately present during its early stages.
From online course development to interdepartmental community growth and work in the field, faculty and staff are heavily invested into repurposing the iPads from an entertainment novelty into an effective, innovative resource to benefit their students. This social work project is part of the larger university plan to embrace technology as part of the learning experience.
Check out their video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCa3XmBu364